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Why Jones vs. Sonnen is, in the big picture, bad for the sport

This idea is a bad idea because it encourages other MMA fighters to behave like clowns and imitate Sonnen to earn their way to a title shot. It really is a model for pro-wrestling. I would suggest that fans who love the theatre and drama, should simply switch channels to pro-wrestling. The thing I loved about MMA was that it was "as real as it gets." Dominick Cruz and Renan Barao : This fight could be a huge fight, and it should be. If the UFC would market it properly they could have their cake and eat it too. They could have a profitable fight with two credible opponents. The big picture is that the sport of MMA is advanced by creating the image of a professional combat sport instead of a pro-wrestling type of carnival side-show. Sonnen - Jones will be one of the biggest and most talked about fights of 2013: First of all, I'm not buying into that this fight will definitely take place let alone be the biggest fight of 2013, just because one of the MMA media writers is putting that out. To the contrary, I think that there is a small segment of what I would call "fringe, pro-wrestling type" fans who want to see it vs a huge (in comparison) market of pure MMA fans that would potentially fill a small arena to watch the greatest MMA fighters in the world compete. Those who have the opinion that Jones and Sonnen is "good for business" usually end their opinion by saying something to the effect that "its all about entertainment and PPV sales." I say, if that’s what you truly believe, then lets bring on Ronda Rousey vs Jose Canseco. Seriously, there’s no question that with the right marketing to the "right fans" Dana White and Joe Rogan, could sell a "Battle of the Sexes". No, there is no justification for either freak show. As usual, the answer lies in a happy medium. Can’t the fans see an opponent who brings credibility to a title shot who can also sell tickets and PPV’s? While there may be some interest in a Sonnen – Jones fight, there’s much, much, more interest and money in Jones – Silva. If Dana makes that match (which I believe he will)…Sonnen – Jones is scrapped in a heartbeat. Here’s the thing about fans that say they would love to see Sonnen – Jones: They are curious. They are hopeful…and they are very, very unrealistic. There comes a point when reality has to take over. For most hopeful fans, that's usually after they have spent their PPV money to see a short, messy, and stinky fight. That's when they start with the finger pointing and excuse making. "People need to come to grips with what is bad for the sport": What is bad for the sport is when a title shot is cheapened. What is bad for the sport is when a championship belt is degraded and the sport itself is brought closer to the image of "pro-wrestling". What is bad for the sport is when the morale of the fighters is hurt and disregarded. What is bad for the sport is when deserving fighters like Dan Henderson, Rich Franklin, Phil Davis and others are all financially hurt by the decision. All MMA fighters going forward are hurt by the decision because they know that their fighting efforts alone will not necessarily be rewarded. Furthermore it sends a bad message to other fighters that they have to also conduct themselves like pro wrestlers or Chael Sonnen if they want to increase their chances of a big pay day. This idea is indeed, harmful to the morale of the fighters. How much different is this when you see a popular co-worker get the promotion over you, although your work is far superior? Think about how you would feel then, before you talk about the big picture. The "big picture" is what short sighted fans and media fail to understand in their thirst for immediate gratification and entertainment, while dismissing the integrity of the sport and the deserving fighters who believe that their hard work will be rewarded. Already Dan Henderson and Forrest Griffin have voiced the sentiment that why should they fight when they can talk their way to a title shot. One can be sure that what they have come out and said, is what many fighters are thinking to themselves. Comparisons to Ali and Joe Louis: A comparison of Sonnen and Ali is a stretch to say the least. Ali was popular because he was first and foremost, a great boxer. He was hugely popular because he was able to combine his gift for theatre with his awesome talent. Chael Sonnen is no Muhammad Ali. Joe Louis and the "Bum of the Month Club" as it was known back in the day: Here, it appears that the writer, who certainly wasn't even alive when Louis fought, is really stretching in a big way to make the point that Joe Louis should be compared to Jon Jones and Sonnen is the Bum of the Month. The fact is that despite its derogatory nickname, "Bum of the Month", most of the group were top-ten heavyweights. They were qualified, credible fighters within the same weight class who had earned their title shot. Comparisons to Lesnar, Rousey, and other questionable decisions: Instead of speaking to the points about hurting fighter morale and cheating other fighters out of legitimate title shots, the writer merely brings up past wrongs to rationalize his argument. Sounds like the robber who argues that at least his crime wasn’t as bad as the murderer. From my point of view, the UFC has a choice. They can either become better at marketing their deserving fighters and pull in more sales while maintaining some degree of credibility or they can go for the quick fix and give away the title shots to sure-fire reality show personalities for the sake of immediate ratings.



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